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Train hits truck; no one injured

A mangled truck sits Metrtracks after being struck by tranear Sayre Northwest Highway Friday morning. | John Blais/Sun-Times Media

A mangled truck sits on the Metra tracks after being struck by a train near Sayre and Northwest Highway Friday morning. | John Blais/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 4, 2014 3:34PM

A Metra train struck a semitrailer truck Friday morning near the Norwood Park neighborhood, but no one was injured in the collision.

Inbound Union Pacific/Northwest Line No. 630 struck the truck that was on the tracks about 8:20 a.m., Metra spokesman Tom Miller said.

Witnesses said the driver of the truck was able to jump out of the vehicle before the crash.

“It sounded like an explosion and we came running out,” said Gerardo Ruiz, 30, a worker at the Norwood Hand Car Wash at 6190 N. Northwest Hwy., directly fronting the train crossing where the incident occurred.

“The truck driver ran into our car wash after the crash. He was a little scared. But he was fine. They took him away by ambulance, I guess to make sure,” Ruiz said.

According to passengers on the train, a message over the intercom had given instructions for everyone to “brace” before the impact. And a conductor assured them the truck driver had escaped the vehicle before the crash, passengers said.

The train lost power but did not derail.

The train involved in the crash was still stopped as of 10:30 a.m., according to Metra. It did not leave the scene of the incident until about 11 a.m.

Inbound trains No. 634, No. 632 and No. 636 were also stopped as a result of the crash.

Tim Coumbe, 58, of the 6200 block of North Northwest Highway, is a taxi driver who got a text that taxis were needed for Metra passengers stuck at the preceding Edison Park station, only to find the accident had occurred at the Norwood Park station across the street from his home.

“I’d heard a lot of honking from the train, but didn’t know what was going on,” said Coumbe, watching officials hoist the flatbed truck with its crushed front end.

“That driver was lucky,” he said.

Earlier this week, another Union Pacific/Northwest Line Metra train struck a vehicle in northwest suburban Des Plaines.

The crash happened Tuesday evening when a woman driving a Honda Civic stopped past the train gate on the tracks, according to the release.

Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire

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